AIU 18: to 1750

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An overview of world literatures from the earliest texts to the Enlightenment, treating multi-ethnic classical literatures (Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Chinese, Arabic), the formation of ethnic vernacular literatures, and zones in which literary cultures met. Through lectures and close reading of selected texts, we will examine how cultural identity was constructed and continuously reconstructed in literature. We will observe how and why canons are retrospectively created, including the canon of "world literature," now in the process of formation.



9/3 Introduction (Stephen Owen and David Damrosch)


9/8 Recovered Ancestors: The Ancient Near East (David Damrosch)

Background: The Ancient Near East (Longman Anthology A:11-23)
Genesis 1-11 (Longman A:28-38)
The Epic of Gilgamesh (Longman A:56-97)

9/10 Greeks and Their Strangers: Defining the Hellenic (Stephen Owen)

Background: Classical Greece and Homer (Longman A:185-201)
Iliad, Book 6.119-236 (Glaukos and Diomedes) (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)
Odyssey, Books 8 and 9 (Longman A:342-384)
Greek Lyric and Ode (Longman A:559, 561-68, 570-74)
Euripides, “The Bacchae” (text online)

9/11 First Section Meetings


9/15 Romans and Greeks: Literature and the Anxieties of Empire (Stephen Owen)

Background: Rome and the Roman Empire (Longman A:1093-1104)
Catullus (Longman A:1245-50)
Virgil, Aeneid, Books 1.490-650 and 4 (Longman A:1123-25, 1144-66)
Macrobius, Saturnalia selections (Longman A:1202-6)
Horace, Satire 1.5 (A:1253-56)

9/17 Writing Across the Hellenistic World (David Damrosch)
Apuleius, The Golden Ass, Books 1-6 and Book 10 (sec. 13) to end

9/18 Second Section Meeting


9/22 Chinese Antiquity (Stephen Owen)

Background (Longman A:1017-27)
Book of Songs, poems 1, 23, 26, 76, 245 (Longman A:1027-43)
Analects (Longman A:1046-47; 1060 [18.6])
Zhuangzi (Longman A:1068-69, 1071-78)
Sima Qian (DocIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)

9/24 Poetry and Power: South Asian Antiquity (David Damrosch)

Background: Early South Asia (Longman A:799-808)
Poems from the Rig Veda and Discourse on What Is Primary (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)
Valmiki and Rajashekhara (Longman A:908-19)
Mahabharata, selections (Longman A:809-53)

9/25 Third Section Meeting


9/29 Medieval South Asia (David Damrosch)

Tamil poems; Hala and Amaru (Longman A:931-43)
Kalidasa, from Meghaduta (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png); Shakuntala (Longman A:944-1008)

10/1 China’s Middle Period (Stephen Owen)

Background (Longman B:11-22)
Wang Can, “Seven Sorrows” I and “Nineteen Old Poems” II, V (TBA)
Tao Qian (Longman B:68-78)
Tang poets (Longman B:83-97)
Yuan Zhen, “Ying-ying’s Story” (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)

10/2 Fourth Section Meeting


10/6 The Arabs: Tribes, Language, and Empire (David Damrosch)

Background: Classical Arabic and Islamic Literatures (Longman B:315-29); Genesis 37-50 (Longman A:159-77)
Pre-Islamic poetry: Imru’ al-Qays, Al-Khansa’ (Longman B:329-37)
The Qur’an, introduction through Sura 12; Sura 28 (Longman B:341-58, 363-65)

10/8 Persian: Vernacular and Classical (Stephen Owen)

Firdawsi, Shah-nama (Longman B:507-518; also text online)
Omar Khayyam, Ruba’iyat (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png and DocIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)
Rumi (Longman B:481-82, 484-85 [beginning “Have you ever seen..."], 489)
"Song of the Reed" translations (#12 recommended) (text online)
Hafez (Longman B:373-83)
Nizami, Haft Paykar (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)

10/9 Fifth Section Meeting


10/13 Medieval Arabic Lyric and Narrative (David Damrosch)

Abu Nuwas (Longman B:384-92)
Tales from The 1001 Nights (Longman B:406-81)

10/15 The Technology of Writing and the Ethnic Vernaculars of Early Medieval Europe (Stephen Owen)

“The Ruin” (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)
Sedulius Scottus, “He complains to Bishop Hartgar of thirst” (DocIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)
“The Lay of Hildebrand” (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)
“Lay of Atli" 210-216 (text online)
Beowulf (Longman B:587-652)
dróttkvætt example (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)
“The Wooing of Étain” (DocIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)
"The Spoils of Annwn" (text online)

10/16 Sixth section meeting


10/20 Medieval Japan: From Poetry to Prose (David Damrosch)

Background (Longman B:125-34)
Man’yōshū (Longman B:134-46)
Ono no Komachi (Longman B:237-240)
Sei Shōnagon (Longman B:247-253, 258)
Mursaski Shikibu, The Tale of Genji (Longman B:146-186)
Sarashina Diary (Longman B:221-232)

10/22 Lay, Chivalric Romance, Saga (Stephen Owen)

Marie de France (Longman B 785-95)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Longman B 798-856)
The Tale of Thorstein Staff-struck (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)

10/23 Seventh Section Meeting


10/27 Intersecting Vernaculars: Iberia (David Damrosch)

Iberia: The Meeting of Three Worlds (Longman B:756-84)

**First Paper Due in Class

10/29 Love in the Vernacular: Medieval Spain to Early Modern Europe (Stephen Owen)

Ibn Hazm, from The Ring of the Dove
Bernart de Ventadorn, “It is no wonder that I sing”
Dante Alighieri, from La Vita Nuova (Longman B:897-902)
Francis Petrarch, letters and canzoniere (Longman C:183-92, 196-206)
Petrarch and His Translators (Longman C:206-211)
Petrarch 211
Renaissance poems

All non-Longman readings for this week in Word document DocIcon16x16.gifhere Info_circle.png

10/30 Eighth Section Meeting


11/3 Early Modernities: China (Stephen Owen)

Li Qing-zhao’s “Epilogue to Records on Metal and Stone” (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)
Feng Meng-long, “Du Tenth Sinks the Jewel Box in Anger” (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)

11/5 Early Modernities: Japan (Stephen Owen)

Bashō et al., “At the Tub of Ashes” (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)
Bashō, haiku with early commentary (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)
Bashō, “Narrow Road to the Deep North” (text online)
Saikaku, “What the Seasons Brought the Almanac Maker” (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)

11/6 Ninth Section Meeting


11/10 Story Collections: A Culture of Translation (Stephen Owen)

Bible translation (Longman C:108-117)
Early modern translation: examples from Shelton’s Don Quixote, Florio’s Montaigne, Urqhuart’s Rabelais, Fanshawe’s Lusiads (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)
Boccaccio, Decameron (Longman C:146-171)
Chaucer, Canterbury Tales (Longman B:1087-1090, 1125-1153)
Marguerite de Navarre, Heptameron (Longman C:172-182)

11/12 Early Modern Empires (David Damrosch)

The Epic of Son-Jara, selections (Longman B:532-64)
Camões, The Lusiads, from Cantos 1-5 (Longman C:287-315)

11/13 Tenth Section Meeting


11/17 Colonial Rewriting: Postconquest Mexico (David Damrosch)

Background: Mesoamerica; the Conquest of Mexico (Longman C:763-73, 811-13)
The Aztec-Spanish Dialogues of 1524 (Longman C:842-49)
Popol Vuh, selections (Longman C:773-95)
Songs of the Aztec Nobility (Longman C:796-810)
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, "Loa for the Auto Sacramental of the Divine Narcissus" (PdfIcon16x16.giftext Info_circle.png)

Topic: The Aztecs

11/19 Early Modern Drama: Dramatists, Kings, and Colonialism (Stephen Owen)

Shakespeare, The Tempest (Longman C:612-667)

11/20 Eleventh Section Meeting


11/24 From Romance to Novel (David Damrosch)

Cervantes, from Don Quixote, Book 1 (Longman C:360-447)

11/26-27 [Thanksgiving: No Class or Section Meeting]


12/1 From Fiction to Metafiction (David Damrosch)

Cervantes, from Don Quixote, Book 2 (Longman C:447-85)

**Second Paper Due in Class

12/3 Claims of Modernity (Stephen Owen)

Madame de Lafayette, The Princess of Cleves (text online)

12/4 Final Section Meeting

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